The Irish Diaspora consists of Irish emigrants and their descendants are estimated to be over 80 million worldwide. These inspiring numbers led myself, Matthew Nevin and Ciara Scanlan, both Artistic Directors of MART (www.mart.ie) and curators of MART’s latest show ‘Invite or Reject’ to put together a show which refers to the duality of understanding and miscommunication that existed when Irish people first immigrated to America.
The 3 city exhibition due to show during the summer in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles has been kindly been part supported by Culture Ireland is part of Imagine Ireland – an initiative to promote Irish Arts in the USA for 2011.
Mart was set up in 2006 as a non profit art organisation to educate and promote Art to the public; art in the spere of New Media, Installation and Performance.
Ciara and I have curated 13 leading Irish Artists work to be shown shown in world renown contemporary art galleries in 3 of the heart of most influential cities in the US. We chose Art that is challenging yet irresistibly welcoming for American audiences to interact and communicate with the art works. This exhibition shall showcase some of Ireland’s leading and emerging visual artists and highlight the strength of our work in the international contemporary art scene.
It is a preconceived notion that Irish people are welcoming and hospitable. It was common for the Irish to be rejected and treated as second-class citizens for the early part of 19th centaury. The current political and social climate in America means it is difficult to gain an entry visa to work there which leaves it now as more of a holiday destination to Irish in stark contrast to history.
Through this exhibition we hope to breakdown stereotypes, interact and engage the audience. Many of the artworks are physically interactive and can be added to by the public.
We have great support from Culture Ireland and we have also set up a Kickstarter (http://kck.st/dJ49Wn ) to help us with additional funding that we require.
For more information please check out our website www.mart.ie.